Home, for American rapper Cyrus Harper aka Cy Harp, sits in the corner of Walnut Road and Duncan Street on Massillon’s southwest side. A big blue and white building filled to the brim with love and bursting opportunity. Growing up, he says with a smile standing in the game room of the Massillon Boys and Girls Club, this building certainly felt like home.
“The building looks newer, it didn’t look exactly like this when I was here,” Harper said leaning against a pool table, his hands in his pockets. “But this was my home for a long time.”
Growing up in Massillon, Harper spent many of his days at the Boys and the Girls Club participating in the games, programs and activities it offered. There, he made lifelong friends and found mentors who gave him the strength and courage to follow his dreams and belief in himself.
With support and compassion from the Boys and Girls Club family, Harper found the strength to face some of life’s biggest challenges and achieve some of his greatest goals. He finished college, earning a degree in marketing, and he’s piecing together a musical career as a rapper, going by the professional name “Cy Harp.”
He’s also working hard to be sure that other Boys and Girls Club children can walk confidently toward their biggest dreams. He wants to prove to them that he believes in them, he cares about them and he’s there to help — no matter what.
“I’ve dealt with the harsh realities, but I believe I am in the right place, now,” Harper said. “You have to work to make (the world) better. You give back.”
On Sept. 24, Harper was recognized for being the kind of role model that kids and their families can depend on. At the Ohio Hip-Hop Awards in Columbus, he received the Daymon Mumford Humanitarian Award for service. It’s fitting, really, that his community service recognition would come from the hip-hop community because its music that makes his service possible. It’s music that gives him the platform to make a difference.
Much of the funding that drives Harper’s community service comes from concert revenue. Admittedly, Harper doesn’t have a whole lot to give, but he gives all that he can. “People always try to use excuses,” Harper said. “You don’t need to have a lot of money to give back, just give something. It’s the thought, in general, that matters, the thought that makes a difference. Show your faith.”